Contact: Dr. Elena Fantino

The development of space technologies is a cornerstone of the UAE vision for the growth of a knowledge-based economy and constitutes a core research area of Khalifa University. The Aerospace Engineering Department plays a prominent role in the space program of the University through externally as well as internally funded projects. The former include active collaboration with KU Space Technology Innovation Center sponsored by the UAE Space Agency and Yahsat. At the international level, distinguished partners include the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), the University of Naples Federico II and the Italian National Research Council. Additionally, the Department receives support for critical research activities in space technologies through internal funding.

The Department is currently involved in the following areas of space research:

  • Design and development of nanosatellites.
  • Deployment strategies for satellite constellations with new space propulsion technologies.
  • Innovative aerodynamic decelerators for atmospheric re-entry and aero-assisted maneuvers.
  • Tools for accurate and efficient orbit propagation.
  • Analysis of space threats (collisions with space debris and asteroid impacts).
  • Novel mission concepts for the exploration of the outer solar system and the icy moons.
  • Technologies for fuel-efficient orbit insertion at the giant planets.
  • Numerical and analytical methods for complex orbital dynamics problems (e.g., optimization of interplanetary trajectories with gravity assist, deep-space missions with electric propulsion and satellite station-keeping maneuvers).